Design and build process

How To Handle Excess Harvest

As part of the Brewery Creek Community Garden my partner and I have been dealing with the problem of having excess harvest over the past few years but not wanting the food to go to waste. Other gardeners have also brought this up to the garden board of directors.

They were able to apply for a grant from Nehibourhood Small Grants and asked if I could design and build a Food Share Stand to assist with the excess harvest. I said “Absolutely!” and got to work.

Designing for public space during the COVID 19 situation definitely increased the challenge of the project.  All in all I think the temporary food share stand was a fantastic project and has been used by the majority of the gardeners / park visitors.


  • Public safety first and foremost
  • Discourage stand being used for alternate uses
  • Simple to install
  • Simple to remove for storage
  • Harvest is visible from the park/path
  • Harvest must be covered from weather and tree debris
  • Must fit within the allotted space
  • Must include signage with accompanying description


After visiting the location and determining the dimensions I set to work using the best lo-fi prototyping material I know – pizza boxes!  I wanted to avoid having a rectangular box with edges as small produce can sometimes hide from sight and go rotten, adding a cleaning aspect.  So I went with more of a trough-style forcing all harvest items to the middle of the shelf and could easily be seen from the path.  I wanted to maintain symmetry as well so I made the roof with the similar angle and size ratio.

The next step was determining the size of the chain and mounting fasteners.  I selected threaded inserts for the shelves and regular eye-hooks for the roof.  As the roof was to act as the fulcrum the mounting hardware to the post would need to be sufficient enough for at least 100 lbs.  

After cutting/assembling the shelves and roof I went on to the graphic design of the signage.  Confirming with the garden Board of Directors for proper language I designed a sign with an arrow that wrapped around the support post to give the passers-by a visual queue that there is something new at the garden and to point out where it was.  

After installation we were asked to describe this process to the Neighbourhood Small Grants committee.  The result is something that is unique to our garden and has been recognized by other community gardens around Vancouver and Richmond.